For 25 years there has been a steady drumbeat predicting the demise of the banking industry. Indeed, the industry has been, and will continue to be, reshaped by demographic, competitive, and structural forces.

Yet the industry has been reporting record profits, and there is credible research that questions the degree to which banks' market shares have actually eroded. Certain data suggest that banks have retained a much higher percentage of financial activity than previously thought because a considerable amount has shifted to off-balance-sheet categories.

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